Top 10 moments of our Seine river cruise
If you've ever wondered about a river cruise but thought it might be too stuffy and structured, think again. U by Uniworld is a new concept in river cruising, designed for adults who seek flexibility and fun.
Dougie and I have just returned from a week on the Seine, discovering Paris and Normandy with a group of like-minded travellers. With options each day for excursions and activities, plus plenty of time on our own, the itinerary certainly hit the right note.
Here are the top ten moments which made our river cruise a rollicking good ride.
1. Arriving in Paris by Eurostar and finding our floating boutique hotel, The B, had views of the Eiffel Tower from the top deck. Joining fellow passengers for an after-dinner walk to see the tower shimmering against the dark sky.
2. Sitting by the Mirror Pool in the gardens of Versailles, listening to Charpentier's Te Deum, our wedding entrance music, accompany the fountain display.
3. The group pub crawl in Rouen: cider in the Delirium Bar followed by the astonishing sound and light display projected onto the outside of Rouen Cathedral.
4. A two-hour kayaking session on the River Eure. Paddling on this picturesque tributary of the Seine with a few unexpected rapids to get the adrenalin pumping.
5. Buying baguettes and bottles of local cider in Honfleur and having our own impromptu lunch in the beautiful harbour.
6. Taking the bikes from the ship and cycling to Giverny to visit Monet's gardens. On the return leg, stopping for a glass of beer at the historic Hotel Baudy where many artists used to stay, often paying their way with a painting or two. We paid cash.
7. Sunset on top deck, drinking a Lavender Collins, created by our new friends during their onboard mixology class. This gin-based fruity cocktail was berry delicious.
8. Free time in Paris, hopping on and off the Batobus: a great way to see the sights from this glass-topped river boat and photograph the Notre Dame from a different angle.
9. Enjoying inventive, brasserie-style cuisine for brunch and dinner. Mmm... Juicy Lucy Burger, lamb tagine, linguine with mussels...
10. Joining our U-host, Sabrina, as we climb up the footbridge of the massive Pont de Normandie at Le Havre for a shot of Calvados and a glass of sparkling cider - a toast to a great week.
You can read Trish's blog at www.mumsgoneto.co.uk